Carl began his musical career as a part of Still Listening, a band made up of 5 friends from a Detroit church and a northern Michigan school. Near the end of high school Carl, Jason Hill, Greg Ryckman, and Mike Mayo all began to write music and play instruments. They started playing small gigs for youth groups, retreats, and camps, including their memorable debut performance for an all-girls retreat that went over “very well,” hooking the guys on “this band thing.” After their first years in college they met drummer Brad Stott and Still Listening, the band, was born. The five enjoyed driving ten hours between their two schools to play gigs at local bars, churches, and coffee houses while recording their first album (self titled Still Listening) in 1998.
In 2001, while Still Listening was still performing, Carl wrote and produced Tales Scratched Out, a solo project that continued to open up his own Christian experience for his listeners. Two of the songs on Carl’s debut solo CD (Echoes in Dreams and Girl) were written by Still Listening and members of the band provided backup instrumentation for the CD.
Throughout his career with Still Listening and on his own, Carl has opened for such acts as The Waiting, Smalltown Poets, Clear, and Shane Barnard (w/ Katie Monaghan). These gigs and other feature performance have taken Carl to stages at such venues as Albion College, Albion, MI; The Ark, Ann Arbor, MI; Trinity House, Farmington, MI; Northwestern University, Evanston, IL; Common Grounds, Waco, TX; The Door, Dallas, TX; and 313.Jac, Detroit, MI. Carl has recieved radio airplay on WDET FM's Ann Delisi's Essential Music, on the “Local Music Corner” segment of Chicago Public Radio’s [WBEZ, 91.5 FM] Eight Forty-Eight program, and on WNUR FM, Evanston-Chicago’s Folk Show. Carl has also provided worship leadership for Albion College's Wednesday Night Chapel, and various church gatherings.
Carl writes music as a discipline of justice-seeking and disruptive discipleship. He writes to engage people of faith and of no faith in deep questions and engaging stories that matter for the world.
Recently Carl has focused his artistic efforts on projects to bring about good in the face of evil. The Abolitionist Hymnal is a collection of 19th Century freedom songs set to new tunes, and is a benefit for the Not For Sale Campaign to end human-trafficking today. Upcoming projects will explore violence done to friends by religious institutions and the beauty those same friends make regardless. Carl hopes that his artistic work will be this kind of catalyst for good everytime he sits down to write or perform.
Carl listens to and is inspired by the images of Scott Erickson, the skills of Shane Barnard, the passion of Patti Griffin, the smarts of Toad the Wet Sprocket, the funk of Stevie Wonder, the emotion of Chris Whitley, the words of Lyle Lovett, the sincerity of David Crowder, the drive of Pedro the Lion, the brashness of Steve Earle, the intentionality of Sufjan Stevens, the wildness of the Avett Brothers, the sound of Wilco, the spirituality of The Welcome Wagon, the groove of Tinariwen, and the melody of Sandra McCracken.
MOTOR CITY HYMNS, 2018
THE WESLEY PROJECT - ADVENT HYMNS 3, 2013
THE WESLEY PROJECT - ADVENT HYMNS 2, 2012
THE ABOLITIONIST HYMNAL, 2011
THE WESLEY PROJECT - ADVENT HYMNS, 2010
THE WESLEY PROJECT - VOLUME NUMBER ONE, 2009
OFT BROKE ECHO, 2006
LONG ROAD TO GO W/ STILL LISTENING, 2001
TALES SCRATCHED OUT, 2001
LIVE FROM THE ATTIC, W/ KATE MONAGHAN, 2000
ALBION COLLEGE CHAPEL CD, 2000
STILL LISTENING W/ STILL LISTENING, 1998